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Patients relieved as doctors end strike



Patients seeking treatment at some public hospitals in Lagos State are joyful at the suspension of the industrial action embarked upon by medical doctors in the country.

It was reported that in recent times, the nation’s medical establishments had been destabilised by a series of industrial actions.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had embarked on industrial action on July 26, following the failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands.

The strike had crippled hospital services in tertiary hospitals and Federal Medical Centres nationwide.

The association had directed its members to resume on Aug. 12, after “a very fruitful meeting” with lawmakers, led by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.

The Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos Zone, on Aug. 2, had also directed medical doctors in three government hospitals on Lagos Island to embark on an indefinite strike over the death of Dr Vwaere Diaso.

NMA directed doctors in all other government hospitals in the state to scale down activities and attend to only emergency cases for the next five days as a mark of respect to the deceased.

Diaso, a medical house officer, with General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, died on Aug. 1, as a result of injuries sustained when the elevator she was in crashed in the staff quarters of the hospital.

A visit to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Igando General Hospital, showed that normalcy had returned to clinical services at the facilities.

Some of the patients spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

Mrs Oluwaseyi Odunayo, an expectant mother at Igando Hospital, commended the truce, noting that patients suffered more during industrial actions.

Odunayo appealed to the Federal and state governments to ensure prompt resolution of issues leading to perennial strikes in the nation’s health sector.

“I came to the hospital on Aug. 4, but couldn’t see the physician, I was told they are on strike and only attend to emergency cases alone.

“More efforts should be put into improving the health sector as it will help people get timely, high-quality health care services that will promote well-being,” she said.

Mr Vincent Akpan, a trader, also appealed that acrimony should cease and patient safety prioritised in healthcare delivery systems across the country.

Akpan said that strikes by health professionals affected access to healthcare, increased strain on remaining staff, disrupted appointments and worsened morbidity.

“My appointments at LASUTH in the last four months have been affected by various strikes.

”From the Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to NUAHP and then the five days strike declared by Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to mourn the doctor that died in the elevator accident.

“All these while, I have been going to a private hospital in my area but the cost of accessing care there is higher, so, I am glad to see normalcy return to clinical operations at LASUTH,” he said.

Also, a retiree at the diabetes clinic, LASUTH, Mrs Adenike Adenola, said that incessant strikes however valid, could erode public confidence in the healthcare system.

According to Adenola, the government and medical professionals should find an amicable solution to perennial strikes in the interest of the patients and public trust.

It was reported the NARD are demanding, among other things, the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF).

They ae also demanding tangible steps on the upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and payment of all salary arrears owed its members since 2015.

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Oluwafunke Ishola

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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